12 Replies Latest reply: Mar 19, 2014 1:45 PM by lwmay
apple-lovin-it Level 1 (40 points)

I want to connect my iMac to my Macbook Pro to transfer some large movie files.

I want to connect using a wired connection, what is the best way forward please?



Intel iMac 21.5" 32GB iPhone 4, 60GB 4G iPod, 8GB Nano, Apple TV, 32GB Wifi iPad, Mac OS X (10.6.6), 8GB Ram
  • noondaywitch Level 6 (8,135 points)

    You can either do it over your home network by ethernet or wifi, or by firewire. Firewire will undoubtedly be fastest and therefore favourite for large files.


    Connect the two with a firewire cable, go to System Preferences > Network and highlight "firewire" in the left pane. The little light next to it should change to green. Do this for both Macs.


    Now go to > Sharing and enable file sharing on both computers.


    The Macs should now be visible in the Finder window sidebar under "shared"


    From one of the Macs (doesn't matter which) click on the other Mac's name in the sidebar. You'll be shown only the public folder to begin with, but select "Connect as" and enter the short name of the account you're transfering to or from. Log in with that account's password. You should now have a choice of the home folder or Macintosh HD for the remote Mac.


    Easiest way from here is to open two finder windows in column view; navigate one to the place you're copying files from, and the other to the destination folder on the other Mac, then just drag the files across.


    Go and make the coffee.


    Note that this will copy the files over. If you're doing this to free up space on one machine, delete the originals and empty the trash after you've tried the copies in their new location and are sure they're working fine.

  • apple-lovin-it Level 1 (40 points)

    Fabulous! Thank you very much.

  • noondaywitch Level 6 (8,135 points)


  • tony lathwell Level 1 (120 points)

    can the same be done with usb, my macbook does not have firewire? thank you.

  • noondaywitch Level 6 (8,135 points)

    Better to use ethernet then. Same instructions, just make ethernet the live network.

    If you're not on a LAN, it should work fine by connecting the two directly, no special crossover cable necessary these days, the Macs will sort that out themselves.


    It may be possible with the latest Macs to use USB, but I haven't come across any information on that, and USB isn't an option in networks.

  • tony lathwell Level 1 (120 points)

    thank you very .

  • tony lathwell Level 1 (120 points)

    thank you very much.

  • apple-lovin-it Level 1 (40 points)

    I have a problem with this now, and I'm wondering if it's down to the iMac running Snow Leopard and the macBook Pro running Lion. I have the green light on the Mac Book for Firewire but a yellow light on the iMac along with the message: Status: Connected. Firewire has a self assigned IP Address and will not be able to connect to the Internet (which I don't want to do anyway)


    Any ideas as to why this might be the case and what the solution might be?



  • noondaywitch Level 6 (8,135 points)

    Whatever IP address the MB has, copy that to the iMac but change the last group by one digit.

    e.g. - If the MB has an address for argument's sake, set the iMac to

    The subnets should be identical - e.g. if one is then so should the other.

    Also ensure that the 'location' drop down is set to automatic.

  • Matt Cole McD Level 1 (0 points)

    Hello, I am having the same problem 'apple-lovin-it' is but it is my macbook's firewire I cannot get to go green. I attempted switching the ip address both ways to no avail. Any ideas? Thanks!

  • magdalen23 Level 1 (0 points)

    i'm having the same problem as Matt Cole McD. imac and mackbookpro, both running snow leopard, are connected with a firewire cable (cable works - i checked w/ an external hard drive).


    in the system prefs on either/both computers, the button does not change from orange to green.


    "Connect the two with a firewire cable, go to System Preferences > Network and highlight "firewire" in the left pane. The little light next to it should change to green. Do this for both Macs."

  • lwmay Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you very much.